With Portsmouth awash with large chain pizza delivery places you tend to forget what ‘real pizza’ should taste and look like. At Circolo you won’t find a hotdog or tasteless plastic cheese stuffed in your crust but a light crisp handmade truly Italian dough. If that doesn’t inspire you then the relaxed, bright, modern vintage interior might persuade you to stay for awhile, grab a beer or coffee and order a slice of heaven!
Owner Gianni showed us round and talked about the interior design, pizza and his family’s history with the city.
The interior was designed by myself. We were lucky that when we pulled off the old plasterboard and found underneath the original tiles from when it was a butchers in the 50′s we were on to a good start. People thought I was mad wanting to keep them but I’m glad I did! They were a great find as these sort of tiles were in keeping with the style I wanted to go for. With the furniture and fittings, I tend to collect a lot of different things and can’t resist buying things that I like or think are designed well. So when I found the right location for the pizzeria I finally had somewhere to put all the pieces I’d collected. All the fixtures and fittings I have a bought over the years from vintage fairs, second hand shops, Ebay and the occasional auction. The marble work tops were saved from my grandads’ ice cream parlour he opened in the 30′s in Guildhall Square. There is even a section dedicated to it in the Portsmouth Museum, so it was great to bring them back to life after years of being sat in the garden. There are still loads of peoples’ names engraved into the marble from all those years ago.
Tell us about your pizza?
The most important thing when making a pizza is the dough, which we make fresh everyday. Every pizza chef has a slightly different recipe for making dough. They are all very similar but everyone has a slight variation on the text book recipe. We all know what the Italians are like!
With pizza, as with all Italian food, less is more. We use fresh ingredients and as many Italian products as we can get hold of, which we get delivered everyday. By combining three or four simple but fresh ingredients you get a delightful end product. Unlike the big pizza chains where everything is frozen and loaded up with processed food.
The final thing that makes a great pizza is the oven. For an authentic Italian pizza you need a stone bake oven to get a beautiful crispy base. We imported ours from Italy. It cooks the pizzas beautifully.
Verrechia’s in Guildhall Square. 14 October 1959.
What inspired you to open Circolo?
I opened Circolo as have spent a lot of time in Italy as my mothers’ side of the family is Italian and I still have a lot of family who live there. My grandad came over from Italy before the war and opened Portsmouth’s first ice cream parlour and coffee shop Verrecchia’s, so I guess it is in the blood! In Italy, there are pizzerias everywhere. You can go grab a quick pizza and a beer or even just a slice; I really enjoyed that when I lived there and missed not being able to do that in Portsmouth. I thought the city was missing something like that, so when I found a good location I took the plunge and got to work.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Plans for the future?! Well it is early days but I would like to open another few places out of town but I must be mad as there is a lot of hard work and stress involved.
Circolo has a Facebook page which is updated regularly and is full of glowing reviews.
You will find them at 78 Osbourne Road and can contact them on 02392 349 079.
Castle Road has enjoyed something of a renaissance recently, with successful street fairs and the expansion of Pie & Vinyl the road has reaffirmed itself as one of Southsea’s most treasured locations.
The street is home to a number of eateries and cafe’s and it’s food culture seems to be coming into it’s own with something for everyone. From casual coffee stops, sandwiches, pies and now the reinvention of landmark bistro Truffles. The once dark and somewhat uninviting restaurant which has inhabited the same spot for decades is now under new ownership. The transformation is a thing of chic coastal beauty.
I caught up with the owner Dayne Hobbes who immediately made us feel relaxed with a coffee and a smile. As we sat down head chef Tim Trussler appeared with a basket of freshly baked bread and we began to discuss everything from interior design to Scandinavian baking.
Tell us about your journey? How did you come to own Truffles?
Truffles really is a family business, we’re all involved and between us have around 80 years experience in the restaurant business. I only moved to Southsea a year ago but first dreamed about having a restaurant on Castle Road ten years ago when we walked through here one day. I remember walking past thinking how much I’d like to own this place. It’s purely by word of mouth I came to own the restaurant. We’ve now been open 3 weeks!
Truffles has been completely renovated, talk us through the transformation?
The whole place has been completely opened up, we have re-used some of the original furniture and the kitchen required the most work. The kitchen is open onto the restaurant and Tim can easily communicate with front of house, keep an eye on what’s going on and also chat with customers. We sanded the dark wood floors to reveal light and bright boards, the walls are painted in Farrow and Ball which was a bit of a treat. The enormous mirror is a local purchase from Victoriana on Marmion Road. Overall the place has a relaxed coastal feel to reflect the locality.
How would you describe your menu, ingredients and wine selection?
We are British food with a French twist, our ingredients are sourced locally and our menu changes to reflect the seasons. Tim our chef trained under Gary Rhodes at Michelin starred Rhodes in the Square, London. Our seafood comes from Viviers and Johnson’s and as we are surrounded by the Hampshire countryside we get beautiful fresh game. We are very passionate about English wine and recommend Nyetimber a sparkling wine that easily rivals Champagne. We can match wines to your food and I do plan to have tastings (Dayne has a diploma from the Wine and Spirit education trust).
We enjoyed lunch which costs £9 for two courses or £12 for three courses. I have already booked in a birthday lunch in January and I can honestly say the food was wonderful and great value for money.
You can find more information, contact details and menus on the Truffles website.
Kirill Sharikov is a free lance photographer and camera restorer who lives in Southsea, we recently met up to talk about his passion for restoration which also includes bikes. Kirill is the proud owner of Lightburn Camera which sells beautifully restored cameras and you can find his own photographic work at Lightburn Photo. I strongly recommend you check out both of these, the work on the photo page is glorious!
How long have you been running Lightburn?
I only started back in May this year when I worked on my first camera, it took some research and Youtubing. I wasn’t happy with the first couple of results and ended up ripping off the leather. I bought a large bag of leather off cuts and ended up making all sorts of things with it. I bought an Olympus trip 35 for myself its a really popular camera at the moment and I re-skinned that, they are quite simple to re-skin.
Have you always had a passion for making, restoration and general tinkering?
As a child my main toy was lego and before that I had a Soviet version of Lego, lots of screws and components. Then I went to college to train to be a mechanic and then I switched to building. It teaches you to look at things, improvise and find solutions. I learnt how to weld and paint and I use that when I work on bikes.
What or who inspires you?
At the moment I really like what Fuji are doing style wise with their camera and the Olympus OM-D movement a digital series based on the old style ones. I would be able to re-skin these in the future too which would be great.
Plans for the future?
I’m planning to put tutorials and things on the Facebook page to encourage others to have a go. Obviously I will be renovating more bikes and building on my restoration skills.
You can find Lightburn Cameras Ebay store here and Lightburn on Etsy. Prices start from around an affordable £30.00
Also check out the tutorial on re-skinning a vintage camera.
Tomorrow the Boutique Market will be at Little Johnny Russells for a cosy and truly festive time. There will be many talented local artisans and designers present (you can see a selection below). All the makers and designers are selected for their talent and craftsmanship, using high quality materials, time and attention to detail.
Vintage clothing and accessories will be available from Juliette’s Thread and Baggy Jumper. Perfect for cosy winter jumpers to party outfits!
The vinyl record fair will be on hand for your vinyl needs and topping up your record collection.
Strong Island Clothing Co will also be attending with the latest Winter range so a perfect opportunity to get hold of some threads.
We’ll also be remembering the spirit of giving at Christmas by raising money for Portsmouth Foodbank to make sure locals who need a bit extra don’t go with out. There will be some awesome raffle prizes up for grabs including a bike, who doesn’t want to win a bike for Christmas?
So come and support your community, shop local and let’s celebrate what a great art/design/craft scene we have!
Raw & Auburn
Ooh la Lapin
Collage by LAW
Earth, Wool and Fire.
This Friday 29th November sees the opening of ‘Precious Things’ a collaboration between Kendal James and the Caravan Gallery. I caught up with Kendal to find out more about the exhibition.
How did your collaboration with the Caravan gallery come about?
It all came about quite naturally through friendship and drinking tea. Jan and Chris’s home is full of treasures that they’ve sourced themselves or been given by enthusiastic friends. Friends of theirs can’t help but gift them with interesting, confusing and out-there characters. I’m quite the ‘item seeker’ myself and fell in love with their hordes of Precious Things.
What was the most intriguing object you came across?
The one that first caught my eye (my favourite) is a startling, faded plastic pink cat, with 4 green wheels for feet and a blue string from its front – a classic child’s pull-toy, of course. Although, there’s none more intriguing than a hard, plastic, corn on the cob, painted in yellow and green and adorned with an old elastic band around the middle. Nobody would believe me if I said what’s inside, so, I’ll save that big reveal for the show…
Was it hard to choose what to include in the exhibition?
Not at all, there’s honestly been so much to choose from. My only limits were: what I could carry and, what I could reach without causing an avalanche (albeit, a small one) of other treasures.
Do you think the line between art and craft is a thin one and how do you feel about the art worlds sometimes perceived snobbery toward makers and crafters?
For most of my life, I’ve always been puzzled by the word ‘Art’, there were times when I’d confused myself into thinking that everything I saw was art. Which, in many ways I still believe is true.
I think it’s interesting that categories like Art and Craft form such divisions as they do, especially considering the amount of crossovers.
I would say that perhaps some artists may be upset when a craftsperson makes and sells so many items and designs in shops, making regular profits from reproducing designs. And maybe some craftspeople desire to spend more time on singular items but can’t afford to work in such away. Perhaps any snobbery comes from desires to be a little more like the other, in some way. Who knows?
If someone falls in love with something I’ve created, they can call it what they like, I just hope that it’s adored.
This does sometimes make it hard for me to find a professional identity for myself but that’s not always important.
Are you a collector?
In the past I’ve been a collector. There is a lot of satisfaction in collecting.
I love computer games, especially old pixelated RPG’s (role playing games) of which I still have a neat little collection. I’ve always loved bright, colourful toys and, as soon as I had access to eBay, I rediscovered my love of Barbie dolls.
And, I can never help but pick up odd bits of plastic, metal and cardboard that would one day become a great, and as yet unknown, item or artwork – if time would only allow.
Nowadays, due to moving around a lot, my collecting habits are much more controlled. I keep many sketch books where I doodle simple and extravagant things I see.
I’ve loved having The Caravan Gallery’s treasures in my home, it’s been a great chance to feel like a true collector all over again and the result reflects my personality perfectly. The title is Precious Things but I can’t help but want to describe it as ‘A whole load of toys and things’.
Any plans to exhibit the show in another location?
Everyone is very excited about the show, and there has been some discussion. Watch this space…
What’s next/any plans in the pipeline?
I’m striving towards fulltime art/design, where I can immerse myself in creativity.
Exploring an artist’s hoard of junk and treasure
Kendal James in collaboration with The Caravan Gallery
Exhibition runs: 27th November – 1st December
Preview: Friday 29th November, 6-8pm
Also open: Saturday 30th November & Sunday 1st December, 12-4pm
All other times by appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org
GASP, Art Space Portsmouth, 27 Brougham Road, Southsea, Hants. PO5 4PA
The first ever Southsea Comedy Festival opens with Eddie Izzard performing his most recent show ‘Force Majeure’ on 31st July and 1st August. Last week we gave you the chance to win two tickets to see Eddie Izzard on Thursday 31st July. The lucky winner is Si Bunting, he correctly answered the three following questions…
1) What is the name of the character voiced by Eddie in Cars 2?
Sir Miles Axlerod
2) In which American city did Eddie begin his 2014 tour Force Majeure?
Washington DC, America
3) For which charity did Eddie run an incredible 43 marathons in 51 days?!
If you aren’t lucky enough to be Si’s plus one, then you can still get your Southsea Comedy Festival tickets by calling 0844 847 2362 and online at www.southseacomedyfestival.co.uk. You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy.
For the second year running Head Mens Hairdressing, Strong Island and My Dog Sighs (this year with Lex Luthor) put on the Head Jam street art event on Albert Road in Southsea. The yard out the back of Head and the Strong Island HQ had last year’s artwork covered during last week and Saturday saw local artists My Dog Sighs, Los Dave, M-One, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Stu Linfield, I am Posy, freakSTATIC, Midge and Samo get involved with new artwork on all of the walls plus the new sculpture too. Extra artwork is also being added today by My Name is Leila. A huge thank you to all the artists and to everyone who popped by throughout the day.
Check some of the photos from the day below, you can see a load more on our Flickr (which is a growing archive of our photography over the last 6 years) or on our Facebook page and if you want to pop in and have a look visit Head at 53 Albert Road.
The first ever Southsea Comedy Festival opens with Eddie Izzard performing his most recent show ‘Force Majeure’ on 31st July and 1st August. We have a pair of tickets to give away for the Thursday 31st July performance. All you have to do to win this prize is email email@example.com with your answer to the following three questions.
1) What is the name of the character voiced by Eddie in Cars 2?
2) In which American city did Eddie begin his 2014 tour Force Majeure?
3) For which charity did Eddie run an incredible 43 marathons in 51 days?!
The deadline for entries will be midnight Monday 21st July with the winner being announced Tuesday 22nd in the evening.
If you don’t want to risk missing out then Southsea Comedy Festival tickets are available by calling 0844 847 2362 and online at www.southseacomedyfestival.co.uk. You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy.
We’ve been exceptionally busy over at Strong Island HQ for the best part of 2014 so far and the latest Strong Island Clothing Co range has been in development for some time. We are now proud to announce the launch of our latest line of tee and crew designs for the Summer. This is the biggest run we have done to date and we wanted to ensure it was a really strong range so didn’t want to rush it.
We have a wide range of new colours and designs including our first 2 colour print on the popular Refuse to Sink and a return to our second tee style back in 2010 with a backprint (this time in navy) in the classic Strong Island logo. We also have a seriously strong collaboration with University of Portsmouth graduate and award winning letterform designer Andy Lethbridge AKA Hand Type. These are something truly special and we’re really stoked how they came out, the detail in the print really reflects the brush strokes of Andy’s work. We will have more on Hand Type and the development of these designs on Strong Island soon in a full interview. We also have pocket tees with the new Down the Hatch design which form part of something we are keeping under our hats for bit…some old favourites have been revisited too with new colourways and 2 new graphic tees as well. Our latest crew retains the same quality as before featuring ribbed side panels, a back neck loop, deep cuffs, a double v-insert on the neckline and raglan sleeves but with new striped cuffs. With a more contemporary and slimmer fit than most sweatshirts it’s certainly a more premium line. As always all our tees and crews are hand screenprinted in East London by the mighty Lovenskate, including the anchor signoff on the back and detail on the inside neck.
We have a few more mini launches coming up over the next few weeks including more tees, something for the cyclists out there, some very special hand produced items from Poland using original 1940′s techniques and also something to lounge on in summer and keep you warm in the winter. Not to mention another very special artist collaboration too.
All of the tees and crews from the main, initial drop will be available this weekend during Head Jam at Head Hairdressing, 53 Albert Road, Southsea (weather permitting). They will then go online in Shop Ahoy next week.
For now please enjoy our latest Lookbook shot by Strong Island Media over at Dell Quay, Chichester. The perfect day to go for a wander around the marina, fields and woodlands with a few cheeky beers at the Crown & Anchor.
Last years Head Jam was such a resounding success with some of the nations best street artists that we eagerly began talking about the following year before the paint had even dried. We discussed how we could run the event again and where to do it, but the answer was simple and literally looking right at us. We hold it in the same place again. Make the courtyard at Head Hairdressing the centre of an annual event where the outcome is available to view for the year, then return, white wash the previous artwork away, and do it all again. After all, street art is an ever changing and developing media in it’s own right and in it’s usual environment where it gets ripped down, tagged, covered in fly posters, lost to demolition and built on, the artists have no fear of their art being lost. It’s part of the job so to speak…
Rick from Head Hairdressing at 53 Albert Road (just along from the Wine Vaults and next to Southsea Gallery) conceived the idea of having the courtyard to the rear of the local barbers transformed in to a permanent giant art piece. From precision multilayered stencils, through bubble gum cutsie to surreal illustrative mayhem, Lex Luthor and My Dog Sighs have hand picked some of their favourite artists to produce the ultimate street art dreamscape courtyard…again!
Head Jam will run all day so feel free to pop along, take a look, have a chat, hang out, meet the artists and enjoy the atmosphere. There will be music on all day, a BBQ turning over in the background if you want to stick a burger on (not supplied), and please feel free to bring along a beer too. Everyone is welcome, so bring the kids so they can see some of the finest street artists working together in this unique environment.
Attending artists include: MyDogSighs, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Fark, Nova, M-one Art, Los Dave, Stu Linfield, Morf, Freakstatic and Ooberla. Wow, this is going to be amazing! If you pop along please be sure to tag the event on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #HeadJam and we will put up a series of your photos from the day.
Strong Island Clothing Co will also be launching their latest range of tees and crews before they go online the following week. So if you want to get in there for an exclusive purchase before anyone else head on down and check it all out. Everything will be out to view, and there is a sneak peak at the end of this post (the full look book will go up this week). Also all of our PFC tees and crews are on offer, bargain. We look forward to seeing you all.
Photos: Matt Maber
Despite the effects of the night before, those who have arisen from their partially soggy tents and dared to walk through alcohol and rain sodden hay look forward to listen to live music at The Wild Stage and in The Hustle Den at midday. In keeping with the wildlife theme the crowd was littered with all sorts of animal themed costumes, and what I can only expect was a stag party of monkey’s.
Burning Beaches took to the stage at 12:00pm in The Hustle Den, where sleepy eyes were literally opened in awe of the band’s soft rock sound. Heavy bass woke even the most sluggish and grungy vocals perfectly complimented a latte. The vocals echoed around the tent, emphasising the roughness and fervency.
Blissfields is without a doubt well-deserved of it’s reputation for finding and nurturing local artists and upcoming talent, and this year was no exception; Saturday brought with it the chance for discovering yet more new artists, one of which being Australian singer-songwriter Ry X. His hazy almost whispered vocals drew comparisons to The xx and Blissfields favourites London Grammar, and Ry X transfixed the audience throughout his set with his soft tenor tones. His track ‘Berlin’ is well worth a listen.
Later on in the afternoon, Floella Grace wowed her audience in The Larch to complete silence and a dream-like-state. Her dreamy, sobering vocals accompanied by fellow string player Gareth and two silvery-voiced backing singers made for an awesome and enlightening performance. The ukulele was played sweetly and harmoniously with the slightly more robust guitar; the entire performance being one of sincerity courtesy of her unvarnished, honest lyrics.
After Floella Grace’s soothing and lulling performance, the audience was re-awakened with the The Boy I Used To Be’s garage pop sound. With breathy, low vocals and slightly metallic guitar riffs, the band’s ‘sun-drenched’ sound ironically complimented the gloomy Great British Weather.
A personal highlight of Saturday was the chance to catch Laurel in the Hustle Den; she has truly developed her own distinctive style, although it is easy to see why over the last year she has been compared to Lana Del Ray, Lorde, and Laura Marling. On stage, she mesmerises the crowd with her sultry and coquettish presence, and switches effortlessly between softer and louder tracks, such as the lead song from her Blue Blood EP, which showcases the depth and richness of her voice.
By now sky was taken over with cloud but with temperatures still high anticipation grew for the headliner, 2ManyDJs, the semi-incognito side project of prolific 90s DJs Soulwax. The Dewaele brothers’ experience was evident throughout their set, with their ability to bring the crowd effortlessly through highs and lows, and build the sweat and alcohol fuelled festival-goers into a frenzy. However, while there were certainly some sore heads as Sunday morning dawned, there were plenty of wide grins too.
Cosmo Sheldrake @ The Hustle Den
Beans On Toast Presents… At The Larch Stage
Chlöe Howl @ The Wild Stage
Laurel @ The Hustle Den
Laurel @ The Hustle Den